1963 NFL Championship Game

The 1963 National Football League Championship Game was the 31st annual championship game, played on December 29 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.[2][3] The game pitted the visiting New York Giants (11–3) of the Eastern Conference against the Chicago Bears (11–1–2) of the Western Conference.[4][5][6]

Originally, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle asked Bears owner/coach George Halas to move the game to Soldier Field for its higher seating capacity and lights, as the game could extend into multiple overtime periods. (Wrigley Field was not lighted until 25 years later, in 1988.) Soldier Field was the home field of the Chicago Cardinals in 1959, and became the home of the Bears in 1971.

When Halas refused, Rozelle moved the game's starting time up an hour to 12:05 p.m. CST for increased daylight,[7] similar to 1960 at Franklin Field. The championship game was played in temperatures under 10 °F (−12 °C).[4][8]

The Giants were in their third consecutive championship game and fifth in the last six seasons. They lost to the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959 and the Green Bay Packers in 1961 and 1962. The Bears were in their first championship game since a loss to the Giants in 1956 at Yankee Stadium, and had last won in 1946, over the Giants at the Polo Grounds.

This was the fifth and final NFL championship game at Wrigley Field, which hosted the first in 1933, as well as 1937, 1941, and 1943. The Bears won four, with the only loss in 1937.

Tickets were $12.50, $10, and $6.[9][10] NBC paid the league $926,000 for the broadcast rights.[11][12][1]

1963 NFL Championship Game
New York Giants Chicago Bears
10 14
1234 Total
New York Giants 7300 10
Chicago Bears 7070 14
DateDecember 29, 1963
StadiumWrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
FavoriteNew York[1]
RefereeNorm Schachter
Attendance45,801
TV in the United States
NetworkNBC
AnnouncersJack Brickhouse, Chris Schenkel, George Connor
Radio in the United States
NetworkNBC
AnnouncersJim Gibbons, Pat Summerall
Wrigley Field is located in the United States
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Location in the United States

Background

The Giants, coached by Allie Sherman, were known for their powerful offense, which scored 448 points in 14 games. They were led by quarterback Y. A. Tittle who threw 36 touchdown passes during the season, then an NFL record. Other contributing players on offense were Pro Bowlers Del Shofner and Frank Gifford. Wide receiver Shofner caught 64 passes for 1,181 yards and 9 touchdowns. Another target was flanker Gifford, who had 42 receptions for 657 yards and 7 touchdowns. Formerly a star halfback, he had switched to the flanker position in 1962, having sat out the 1961 season following a devastating hit by linebacker Chuck Bednarik in November 1960. The Giants also used a plethora of players at running back, with the main two being Phil King and Joe Morrison. Although neither one had significant individual statistics, they combined for 1,181 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.

The Giants defense allowed 280 points, ranking fifth overall in the 14-team NFL. This group was led by future Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff. Other contributing players on defense were defensive linemen, Jim Katcavage, and John LoVetere; linebacker Tom Scott; and defensive backs Erich Barnes and Dick Lynch.

Meanwhile, the Bears were known for their defense, nicknamed the Monsters of the Midway. Led by defensive coordinator George Allen, this unit yielded 144 points in 14 games. The defensive line consisted of Ed O'Bradovich, Fred Williams, Stan Jones, and future hall of famer Doug Atkins. The linebacking corps was led by Joe Fortunato, Bill George, and Larry Morris, while the defensive backs were led by Richie Petitbon and Rosey Taylor. Accomplishments by the Bears defense during the regular season included making 36 pass interceptions, surrendering only 1 touchdown in two games versus the Green Bay Packers, and not allowing any passing touchdowns in its two games against quarterback Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. Writers in New York were especially fearful of the trio at linebacker, stating that Tittle had yet to see a group like them all year.[13]

Chicago's offense did not come close to the Giants' in terms of points scored or yards gained. The group only scored 301 points, ranking 10th out of the league's then-14 teams. The offense was led by quarterback Bill Wade, the first overall pick of the 1952 NFL draft. Wade ran a simplified game plan, nicknamed "three yards and a cloud of dust," in which they would play it safe by running the ball or tossing short passes to the ends or backs instead of risking giving up an interception. Wade threw almost as many passes as Tittle in 1963 - 356 vs. 367 - but Y.A. favored longer throws, as evidenced by 8.6 yards-per-attempt vs. Wade's 6.5. Wade's favorite targets were tight end Mike Ditka and wide receiver, Johnny Morris.

The Giants entered the title game as slight favorites.[1]

Game summary

The Giants opened the scoring in the first quarter when Y.A. Tittle led New York on a 41-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford. The drive was set up by Billy Wade's fumble on the Bears' 41-yard line, which was recovered by former Bear Erich Barnes.[14] However, later in the first period, Larry Morris hit Tittle's left knee with his helmet as the quarterback threw. The injured Tittle was much less effective for the rest of the game.[15] After Del Shofner failed to hang onto a Tittle pass in the end zone, Morris then intercepted Tittle's screen pass and returned the ball 61 yards to the Giants 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wade scored a touchdown on a two-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7.

In the second quarter, the Giants retook the lead, 10–7, on a 13-yard field goal. But on New York's next drive, Tittle reinjured his left knee on another hit by Morris. With Tittle out for two possessions, the Giants struggled, only able to advance 2 yards in 7 plays. Allie Sherman even punted on third down, showing no confidence in backup Glynn Griffing. However, the score remained 10–7 at halftime.

Tittle came back in the third period, but he needed Cortisone, Novocaine, and heavy taping and bandaging just to continue. For the rest of the game, Tittle was forced to throw off his back foot (poor mechanics for a quarterback). An interception on another screen pass by the Bears' Ed O'Bradovich was brought deep into Giant territory, setting up Wade's 1-yard touchdown to give Chicago a 14–10 lead. The score would hold up, and the Bears iced the game on Richie Petitbon's interception in the end zone with 10 seconds left. It was Tittle's 5th interception. At the end of the game defensive coordinator George Allen was given the game ball due to his defense's spectacular play. Tittle was held to only 11 completions in 29 attempts, and the Bears superior scouting was shown by their success defending against the Giants' screen passes.

Although the young American Football League (AFL) was completing its fourth season, the NFL still regarded itself as the premiere professional league of American football, as reflected in WGN radio broadcaster Jack Quinlan's comment as the clock ticked to zero on the final play: "The Chicago Bears are world's champions of professional football!" It was another twenty-two years before the Bears won another league championship.

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 29, 1963
Kickoff: 12:05 p.m. CST

  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
    • NYG – FG Chandler 13, 5:11, 10–7 NYG
  • Third quarter
    • CHI – Wade 1 yard run (Jencks kick), 12:48, 14–10 CHI
  • Fourth quarter
    • no scoring

Officials

  • Referee: (56) Norm Schachter
  • Umpire: (15) Ralph Morcroft
  • Head Linesman: (36) Dan Tehan
  • Back Judge: (47) Ralph Vandenberg
  • Field Judge: (21) Fred Swearingen

The NFL had five game officials in 1963; the line judge was added in 1965 and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

The gate receipts for the game were about $500,000 and the television money was $926,000. For the first time, the NFL tried a closed-circuit telecast in the local blackout area, with 26,000 viewing on large screens in three locations: McCormick Place, International Amphitheatre, and Chicago Coliseum.[2][16][17] Tickets ranged from $4 to $7.50.[16]

Each player on the winning Bears team received about $6,000, while Giants players made around $4,200 each.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Hand, Jack (December 29, 1963). "Offensive Giants, defensive Bears in NFL finale". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. 1, sports.
  2. ^ a b c Strickler, George (December 29, 1963). "Bears battle Giants for title today". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 2.
  3. ^ Strickler, George (December 30, 1963). "Bears the champions! Win, 14-10". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 1.
  4. ^ a b Sell, Jack (December 30, 1963). "Bears stop Giants, win NFL title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. pp. 1, 18.
  5. ^ Livingston, Pat (December 30, 1963). "Bears open 'screen' door to title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 18.
  6. ^ "Papa's polar Bears whittle Tittle; intercept five, win title 14-10". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 30, 1963. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Bears battle Giants for title today". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1963. p. 1, section 2.
  8. ^ "Arctic air puts freeze on Chicago; may stay on". Chicago Tribune. December 30, 1963. p. 1, section 1.
  9. ^ "Playoff tickets". Chicago Tribune. December 16, 1963. p. 1, section 3.
  10. ^ "Open title ticket sale at 9 Monday". Chicago Tribune. December 17, 1963. p. 1, section 3.
  11. ^ "Theater TV possible for title game". Chicago Tribune. December 17, 1963. p. 3, section 3.
  12. ^ "Rozelle sees record gross for playoff". Chicago Tribune. December 21, 1963. p. 1, section 2.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Coppock, Chet (December 27, 2013). "Bears defeat Giants 14–10 for 1963 championship". Chicago Bears. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  15. ^ The Chicago Bears Wins the 1963 NFL championship, Chicago Tribune, Larry Kart, retrieved May 24, 2013: “Grit, savvy and sheer brutality—those are classic Chicago traits, no matter the endeavor, and they brought the National Football League championship to Chicago on this date...”
  16. ^ a b Rollow, Cooper (December 19, 1963). "N.F.L. sets up theater TV title game". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  17. ^ Rivera, Thomas (December 30, 1963). "26,000 warmly approve big screen telecast in three Chicago arenas". Chicago Tribune. p. 5, section 3.
  18. ^ "Each Bear to receive about $6,000". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 30, 1963. p. 18.

Riger, Robert. Best Plays of the Year: 1963. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 1964.

Coordinates: 41°56′53″N 87°39′22″W / 41.948°N 87.656°W

1963 American Football League Championship Game

The 1963 American Football League Championship Game was the fourth AFL title game. At the end of the regular season, the San Diego Chargers (11–3) won the Western Division for the third time in the four-year existence of the AFL.The Eastern Division Boston Patriots and Buffalo Bills had identical 7–6–1 records, which required a tiebreaker playoff game on December 28 in Buffalo.

1963 New York Giants season

The 1963 New York Giants season was the franchise's 39th season in the National Football League. The Giants won their third consecutive NFL Eastern Conference title with an 11–3 record, their sixth in eight years, but again lost the NFL championship game. This loss was to the Chicago Bears, 14–10 at Wrigley Field, in the Giants' final post-season appearance until 1981.

Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle produced one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history. Tittle had had a breakout season the previous year, but according to Cold Hard Football Facts, "[h]e was even better in 1963, breaking his own record set the year before with 36 TD passes while also leading the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. Tittle's G-Men scored a league-leading 32.0 [points-per-game] and he lifted his team to an epic title-game showdown with the Bears, who possessed what was easily the league's best defense in 1963 (10.3 [points-per-game])."

1964 NFL Championship Game

The 1964 National Football League Championship Game was the 32nd annual championship game, held on December 27 at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. With an attendance of 79,544, it was the first NFL title game to be televised by CBS.

The game marked the last championship won by a major-league professional sports team from Cleveland until 2016 when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals. As of 2018 this is the last championship ever won by the Cleveland Browns.

1977–78 NFL playoffs

The National Football League playoffs for the 1977 season began on December 24, 1977. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, 27–10, on January 15, 1978, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Due to Christmas, the Divisional playoff games were held in a span of three days. The AFC playoff games were played on Saturday December 24 while the NFC games were held on Monday, December 26. It also marked the only year since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970 that one conference held both of its divisional playoff games on one day and the other conference held both of its games on the other day. In every other season since 1970, the conferences have split their playoff games over the two days.

This was also the last season that the NFL used an eight-team playoff tournament.

Bill Wade

William James "Bill" Wade (October 4, 1930 – March 9, 2016) was an American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered one of the greatest athletes in Nashville and Vanderbilt University history. Wade is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He is best known for being the starting quarterback on the Chicago Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.

Wade played for Vanderbilt University. He was named the Southeastern Conference's (SEC) Most Valuable Player and a second-team All-American. He was named MVP of the 1951 North–South Shrine Game in Miami. Wade also played in the Senior Bowl of 1952 and was selected to play in the College All-Star Game in Chicago.

He was the first player selected in the 1952 NFL draft, by the Los Angeles Rams.

Quarterbacking the Rams for seven seasons, Wade's best year personally was 1958, when he led the NFL in passing yards with 2,875. He was traded to the Bears in 1961 with teammates Del Shofner and John Guzik for two players and a draft pick. Wade topped the league in 1962 in pass completions and attempts, and threw for 466 yards on Nov 11 in Dallas, second in franchise history to Johnny Lujack (468) . He was the first Bear to record four games with 300+ passing yards in a season. In 1963, he led Chicago to the 1963 NFL Championship Game, scoring both Bears touchdowns on two 5-yard drives after turnovers in a 14–10 victory over the New York Giants in a game played in freezing weather conditions at Wrigley Field.

Wade was named to the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.Following eye surgery for glaucoma, Wade became legally blind. In an interview with Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune on January 30, 2007, days before the Bears played in Super Bowl XLI in Miami Gardens, Florida, Wade said from his Nashville home, "I could get there for the game, but I can't see it." He added: "I've got a Bears cap on right now." He died on March 9, 2016 in Nashville.

Buddy Parker

Raymond "Buddy" Parker (December 16, 1913 – March 22, 1982) was a football player and coach in the National Football League who served as head coach for three teams: the Chicago Cardinals, the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chicago Bears statistics

This page details statistics about the Chicago Bears American football team.

Ed O'Bradovich

Edward O'Bradovich (born May 21, 1940, in Melrose Park, Illinois) is a former American football defensive end in the NFL that was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round (91st pick) of the 1962 NFL Draft; he spent his entire ten-year career with the Bears. He attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois and the University of Illinois.

O'Bradovich has the rare distinction of an athlete that within the same state grew up, attended college, and enjoyed a long professional career. "OB", as he was known throughout his career, grew up in Hillside, IL, attended the University of Illinois and played his entire career for the Bears. Perhaps the singular professional career distinction was when he intercepted a short pass in the 1963 NFL Championship game and rumbled down the field on a key play for a Bears victory. Before joining the Bears, he played in the CFL for the B.C. Lions and the Calgary Stampeders.He started (year) co-hosting the Suburban Tire Post Game Show after Bears games, alongside former Bear Doug Buffone on WSCR in Chicago and lives in Palatine, IL. In May 2009, O'Bradovich and Buffone left WSCR-AM and joined Chicago Sports Webio. However, in June 2009, the founder of Chicago Sports Webio was charged with operating a Ponzi scheme, and the site was shut down. O'Bradovich and Buffone re-signed with the Score in late August 2009. O'Bradovich began broadcasting Chicago Rush Arena Football League games for Comcast SportsNet and WGN in 2010. Following his retirement, O'Bradovich has closely followed the Bears, giving the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches for both Dan Hampton and Mike Ditka.O'Bradovich played himself in the television movies Brian's Song, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, and Coach of the Year, starring Robert Conrad as former Chicago Bears player Jim Brandon.

Halas Hall

Halas Hall is a building complex in Lake Forest, Illinois, that serves as the Chicago Bears' headquarters. Designed by Peter Rose of Peter Rose + Partners, the building hosts the team's front office, as well as indoor and outdoor practice facilities. The franchise spent $20 million to build the complex in 1997. The location is four miles west of the original Halas Hall, which is now used by the Lake Forest College Athletics Department.In 2013, the Bears announced that Halas Hall will be renovated, which will include an event center, broadcast studio, along with an outdoor patio and dining facility. Additional conference rooms and staff offices will also be added, and the building will expand the parking lot and renovate the entrance to the lobby. The event centers will feature interactive digital displays, video monitors and memorabilia such as the 1963 NFL Championship Game trophy. The new facility was designed by Richard Preves & Associates, PC. On April 21, 2015, PNC Financial Services purchased the naming rights to the new building, naming it PNC Center at Halas Hall.On November 17, 2017, Ted Phillips announced the franchise will be expanding and renovating Halas Hall to effectively double its size. The project began in March 2018 and is set to conclude in August 2019.

Hugh McElhenny

Hugh Edward McElhenny Jr. (born December 31, 1928) is a former professional American football player who was a halfback in the National Football League (NFL) from 1952 to 1964 for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions. He was noted for his explosive, elusive running style and was frequently called "The King" and "Hurryin' Hugh". A member of San Francisco's famed Million Dollar Backfield and one of the franchise's most popular players, McElhenny's number 39 jersey is retired by the 49ers and he is a member of the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame.

McElhenny first rose to stardom as a standout all-around player for Compton Junior College in 1948. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he was a two-time All-Pacific Coast Conference fullback for the Washington Huskies football team and set several school and conference records. He was drafted by the 49ers with the ninth pick in the 1951 NFL Draft, and his versatility made him an immediate star in the league, earning him five first-team All-Pro honors in his first six seasons. With the 49ers, he was selected for five Pro Bowls, and he earned a sixth Pro Bowl appearance with the Vikings. He finished his career after short stints with the Giants and Lions.

An all-around player who was a threat as a runner and a receiver and also returned kickoffs and punts, McElhenny had amassed the third most all-purpose yards of any player in NFL history when he retired. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, "Hugh McElhenny was to pro football in the 1950s and early 1960s what Elvis Presley was to rock and roll," a reference to both his popularity and his nickname.

Jack Quinlan

John Charles "Jack" Quinlan (January 23, 1927, Peoria, Illinois – March 19, 1965, Scottsdale, Arizona) was an American sportscaster. He was best known for covering the Chicago Cubs first on WIND (AM) 1955-56, then on WGN radio from 1957 to 1964, his broadcast partner was Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau 1957 to April 1960, 1961 to 1964 and Cubs legend Charlie Grimm April 1960 to October 1960.

Quinlan was killed in an auto accident after leaving a golf outing during spring training of 1965. He was an avid golfer, and a charity golf tournament in his name has been held in the Chicago area ever since.

Quinlan's classic call of the final out of Don Cardwell's no-hitter on May 15, 1960, transcribed from a phonograph record of Cubs history issued in 1971. The batter for the opposing St. Louis Cardinals is Joe Cunningham. The Cubs left fielder is Walt "Moose" Moryn. (See also Jack Brickhouse for TV-vs.-radio style comparison)

Ball 3, strike 1 on Cunningham... Here's the pitch... Strike 2! (Wrigley Field crowd roars) ... Cunningham's arguing now... he's back here barkin' at Tony Venzon, the plate umpire... he's really sore... he is really peeved at that strike two, that was called... One more pitch could end it... You know what kind of a pitch we're hopin' for: The dark one! Blow it past him Don! ... Here comes the biggest pitch of this ballgame... Lined into left field... (crowd gasps) ... Here's Moryn comin' ... (crowd roars) ... HE CAUGHT IT! He caught it! A no-hitter! A no-hitter for Cardwell! Moryn made a great game-saving catch! It's a no-hitter for Cardwell... his teammates are mobbin' him... Cardwell's teammates are poundin' him to death!

Quinlan was named Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association four straight years from 1961 to 1964. Nationally, he broadcast the first 1960 All-Star Game and the 1960 World Series for NBC Radio. He also called Big Ten football on WGN and broadcast the 1963 NFL Championship Game locally as a substitute for regular Bears radio announcer Brickhouse, who was calling the game on NBC television.

Two audio books "Jack Quinlan/Forgotten Greatness" Parts I and II were produced by broadcaster Ron Barber and include every known remaining clip of Quinlan's play-by-play and are part of Barber's continuing effort to gain Quinlan consideration for election to the Baseball Broadcasters' Hall of Fame. Rare photos and additional information on Jack Quinlan is available on Facebook at Jack Quinlan Cubs Broadcaster.

Larry Morris

Larry Cleo Morris (December 10, 1933 – December 19, 2012) was an American football linebacker. The 1950 graduate of Decatur High School became an All-American at Georgia Tech before enjoying a successful career in the NFL. "The Brahma Bull" was named one of the linebackers on the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. A Decatur, Georgia native, he is one of the best players the state of Georgia has produced, a standout at the high school, college and pro levels.

Luke Johnsos

Luke Andrew Johnsos Sr. (December 9, 1905 – December 10, 1984) was an American football player, assistant coach, and head coach for the National Football League's Chicago Bears franchise. He started with the Bears in 1929 at the age of 23 as an end. He played eight NFL seasons in Chicago finishing his playing career in 1936.

NBC Sports

NBC Sports is the programming division of the American broadcast network NBC, owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal, that is responsible for sports broadcasts on the network, and its dedicated national sports cable channels. Formerly operating as "a service of NBC News", it broadcasts a diverse array of sports events, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, NASCAR, the NHL, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the IndyCar Series, the Premier League, and the Triple Crown, among others. Other programming from outside producers – such as coverage of the Ironman Triathlon – is also presented on the network through NBC Sports. With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, its own cable sports networks were aligned with NBC Sports into a part of the division known as the NBC Sports Group.

NFL on NBC

The NFL on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on the NBC television network in the United States.

NBC had sporadically carried NFL games as early as 1939, including the championship and Pro Bowl through the 1950s and early 1960s. Beginning in 1965, NBC signed an agreement to carry the American Football League's telecasts, which carried over with the American Football Conference (AFC) when the AFL merged with the NFL. NBC would continuously carry the AFL/AFC's Sunday afternoon games from 1965 through the 1997 season, after which NBC lost the AFC contract to CBS.

NFL coverage returned to NBC on August 6, 2006, under the title NBC Sunday Night Football, beginning with its coverage of the preseason Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. From 2016 to 2017, NBC added a five-game Thursday Night Football package to its offerings supplementing two Thursday games that were already part of the Sunday Night Football package. Game coverage is usually preceded by the pregame show Football Night in America.

Phil King (American football)

Philip Edgar King (June 22, 1936 – January 18, 1973) was an American football running back in the National Football League for the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at Vanderbilt University (1955–57) and was drafted in the first round (twelfth overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft. Nicknamed "The Chief" due to his Native American heritage.

Steve Schubert

Steven William Schubert (born March 15, 1951) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He played in six seasons in the NFL (1974-1979) for the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears. He played college football for the UMass Minutemen.Schubert caught the only touchdown that the Bears scored in their 37-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the 1977 NFC Divisional playoff game. It was the Bears' first postseason game in 14 years, since they won the 1963 NFL Championship Game in 1963 against the New York Giants.

Super Bowl XXI

Super Bowl XXI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1986 season. The Giants defeated the Broncos by the score of 39–20, winning their first ever Super Bowl, and their first NFL title since 1956. The game was played on January 25, 1987, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This was the Broncos' first Super Bowl appearance since the 1977 season. Led largely through the play of quarterback John Elway and a defense that led the AFC in fewest yards allowed, the Broncos posted an 11–5 regular season record and two narrow playoff victories. The Giants, led by quarterback Phil Simms, running back Joe Morris, and their "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" defense, advanced to their first Super Bowl after posting a 14–2 regular season record and only allowing a combined total of 3 points in their two postseason wins.

The game was tight in the first half, with the Broncos holding a 10–9 halftime lead, the narrowest margin in Super Bowl history. The only score in the second quarter, however, was Giants defensive end George Martin's sack of Elway in the end zone for a safety. This began the Giants run of scoring 26 unanswered points through the third and fourth quarters. The Giants also posted a Super Bowl record 30 points in the second half, and limited the Broncos to only 2 net yards in the third quarter. Simms, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, finished the game with 22 of 25 passes completed for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 25 rushing yards on 3 carries. His 22 out of 25 (88%) completion percentage broke both a Super Bowl and NFL postseason record.

The telecast of the game on CBS was seen by an estimated 87.2 million viewers. This was one of the first times that a very large, national audience saw what is now the traditional Gatorade shower, where players dump a cooler full of liquid over a coach's head following a meaningful win. The practice was first started by Giants players in 1985 but it did not gain much national prominence until this season.

Y. A. Tittle

Yelberton Abraham Tittle Jr. (October 24, 1926 – October 8, 2017), better known as Y. A. Tittle, was a professional American football quarterback. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, and Baltimore Colts, after spending two seasons with the Colts in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Known for his competitiveness, leadership, and striking profile, Tittle was the centerpiece of several prolific offenses throughout his seventeen-year professional career from 1948 to 1964.

Tittle played college football for Louisiana State University, where he was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) quarterback for the LSU Tigers football team. As a junior, he was named the most valuable player (MVP) of the infamous 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic—also known as the "Ice Bowl"—a scoreless tie between the Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks in a snowstorm. After college, he was drafted in the 1947 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, but he instead chose to play in the AAFC for the Colts.

With the Colts, Tittle was named the AAFC Rookie of the Year in 1948 after leading the team to the AAFC playoffs. After consecutive one-win seasons, the Colts franchise folded, which allowed Tittle to be drafted in the 1951 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Through ten seasons in San Francisco, he was invited to four Pro Bowls, led the league in touchdown passes in 1955, and was named the NFL Player of the Year by the United Press in 1957. A groundbreaker, Tittle was part of the 49ers' famed Million Dollar Backfield, was the first professional football player featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and is credited with having coined "alley-oop" as a sports term.

Considered washed-up, the 34-year-old Tittle was traded to the Giants following the 1960 season. Over the next four seasons, he won several individual awards, twice set the league single-season record for touchdown passes, and led the Giants to three straight NFL championship games. Although he was never able to deliver a championship to the team, Tittle's time in New York is regarded among the glory years of the franchise.In his final season, Tittle was photographed bloodied and kneeling down in the end zone after a tackle by a defender left him helmetless. The photograph is considered one of the most iconic images in North American sports history. He retired as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, attempts, completions, and games played. Tittle was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and his jersey number 14 is retired by the Giants.

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